Four hundred and forty-nine children with heights below -2.5 SD were identified by screening for height a total population of 48221 in three Scottish cities. Children participating in the study could be classified into 5 groups: severe growth hormone deficiency (n = 13), partial growth hormone deficiency (n = 25), low birthweight short stature (n = 34), constitutional short stature (n = 178), and short stature associated with some underlying disease (n = 106). Children with growth hormone deficiency tended to be shorter, were more likely to be obese, were growing more slowly, more often were the products of an abnormal pregnancy, and were less socially disadvantaged than constitutionally short children. Their parents were also more likely to have sought medical advice about the short stature. These findings have important implications for improved case-finding of children suffering from growth-hormone deficiency, who in this study accounted for about 10% of all short but otherwise normal children who came from non-disadvantaged communities.
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